Wednesday, March 20, 2019

USATF Masters Indoor Champs at JDL

devotion to the sport! (Massachusetts trackster)
I need to begin this by describing our January 20th Southeast Regional Championship at JDL Fast Track. I had only about five training attempts preceding the event due to a dreadful December and early January. New Year's Day, I could barely walk during the annual New Year's Day outing (gut issue).I had signed up for four mile, mostly trail and greenway, run in Rocky Mount along the Tar river some time prior, which due to the freaky weather had been deferred into January. So, I went. I wore my new (won in a Nog Run Club raffle) ON shoes. I must say they have a weird sole! Like horizontal rails, presumably to deflect shock and make one feel as if running on clouds. Well, no! Though I had on KT Tape, was wearing my CW-X capris and these shoes, my knees still hurt. Knowing that I was slow anyway, I slowed to take photos along the way. I jogged walked, crossing the line at 51:45 chip and 52:32 gun. I will say that I enjoyed The Wandering Moose's Beef on Weck (roast beef au jus, on brioche roll, with kosher salt and horseradish) and the local cider beer.

So along comes the Regional. I had signed up for two field events – shot and weight throw (first time) and three track – in order- 60m, 400m, and 200m. Mistake! The weight throw start for women was delayed so I had no time to warm up for the 60m. 12.68 Similarly, the shot throws left no time to warm up for the 400m (just love the stress of looking at watch and worrying about queuing up on time at the check in area!). My 400m was slow and I felt it with about 80m to go, but I managed to finish without walking. 1:57.14 So now there is a break before the 200m. I joined the other Piedmont Pacers and gabbed for a bit then decided to eat a slice of pizza our team Captain, Kevin Gobble had brought us. Yum. So good that I decided to have a second slice. Another mistake because half way through I realized that the 200m was about to queue up at the check in area. (well, 15mins before the event.) No warm up other than to get over there and put shoes on. 47.66 Yet again, a dreadful outing. All in all, my running events were perhaps close to my personal worsts (for sure the 400m was my second worst for that distance, only exceeded by the abysmal Albuquerque Meet two years earlier when I had bronchitis but did not yet know it. I had walked the last 190m or so.)
The field events were not too bad. Shot at 6.01m and weight (facing left) with no overhead swings (would kill myself or another) of 6.65m. Angela Staab and some of the Pacer men had shown me how to throw the weight back in April (though, as it turned out, I missed a crucial aspect – one has to PUSH with the non release hand.)

Pacers - before the pizza! Angela Staab, Jay Smith, Kathy Jacobs

I came away from the Regionals disappointed as I had originally hoped after the October JDL Tuneup Meet – all ages -that I would see some improvement. Actually, I was slower in all of the SEM events!

two block attempt -- oh, the knees!
On January 30th, I began hitting the gym and cutting back to once a week for Camp Gladiator (CG) My knees have begun hurting in CG and my stamina was for ..!.(NYC term) I began practicing 100s and 200s on a nearby dirt Greenway path. I laid out my cones, estimating 140 steps for 100m and went from there. Then, I decided to follow up on a fellow Pacer's comment that he was training on Duke's Morris William track and if one got there in the morning one could safely train without interfering with Duke folk. (the only negative was getting a parking space @2 bucks an hour, max two hours, in a limited quantity lot.) I swear, walking the path uphill to the track wore me out more than any running. Always huffing and puffing! (Becky Bowman much later told me of another way from the lot to track which is less taxing!) I have lots of parking receipts. I went three days from 2/5 to 2/9, trying just straight 60s all out, or 100 – 200 repeats, the last few 200s shrunk to well under 200! I began to attempt block starts again. 

I resembled a watermelon rolling away, so terrible in form and motion.

Becky Bowman, Rick Pack, and Bryan Guido Hussein were also there on the ninth and working with them I came down to just pushing off one block. I went to Duke three more times, sometimes with others, most times not, (since I can do weekdays.) 
with Bryan, Rick, Becky, and Ryan at Duke track

I also reverted back to the greenway when it was drizzly and I did not feel like driving to Durham I attempted multiple 200s at 80% but achieved only a shorter distance. Some days I tried the 150s and other days I just did the all out 60s, which I much preferred. I was also going to the gym using the Prowler2, leg press and wall sits.(none of the gym stuff bothered my knees nor did running on the track.) Pavement for sure does!

USATF Masters National Indoor Championships March 1-3.

Knowing from the Regional that I did not have the oomph to run the 400m, I had not signed up for it but I went to Winston-Salem to watch others run it and visit with other track folk. The first person I saw was Mary Robinson then Angela Staab. It was well before the 400 so we chatted for awhile. Mary Smith eventually joined us. The Triangle contingent of the Piedmont Pacers, Rick Pack and Bryan Hussin showed up, also there for the 400m, as was Becky Bowman (Joy's Jackrabbits TC). Of the six women who had signed up for the 400m in my age group, only five ran it, Jane Simpson being busy doing field events. Right from the start, Mary Smith established her lead and maintained it to the Finish. In as much as she was a prior Indoor National Champion, it was no surprise (though she had had to surmount numerous health issues since her last Indoor Championship in 2017.). Last year's Indoor champion, Rose Green, had aged up into the next AG, after having terrorized her competitors in September's WMA in Spain by winning gold in every event. The 400m times: Mary Smith (Colorado Masters TC) 1:30.75, Mary Robinson (unattached) 1:41. 11, Barbara Hensley (Southwest Ohio TC) 1:47.51, Catherine Radle (Atlanta TC (ATC)) 1:50.82, and Angela Staab (Piedmont Pacers) (running with a torn tendon!) 2:17.60. I was glad I had not run it.

Rose Green

Mary Smith Angela Staab Barbara Hensley

Lesley Hinz and Lane Wilton after Lane's 400
with Jeanne Daprano

Becky Bowman and Angela Staab before their events
Ann Carter Mary Hartzler Angela Staab and Mary Robinson checking result screen  
Angela Staab Mary Smith Rose Green

Next up of the races I had come to watch was Becky's 400m. She was up against the 400m, 800m, and mile record holder, Lesley Hinz (T.H.E. Track Team.) One could say Lesley is a middle distance hog. Despite recently recovering from an injury, Lesley did prevail in their race , 1:13.66 to Becky's 1:19.90.

Both Rick and Bryan were in the same AG and same 400m race. Rick is a speed demon but he was nursing an injured ankle (though one could not tell since he is a blur when running) and this was Bryan's first National Meet, and his third time running at JDL, having caught the bug during the JDL October Tuneup, his first Indoor Meet. They looked darn fast to me but their competitors were even faster this day. Rick 57.62 and Bryan 1:06.66. Watch out world –they have the bug and will be training hard for the next contest. (Hopefully staying healthy.)

Piedmont Pacers Matt Holtry and Kevin Gobble both competed in the 40-44 AG race walk, with Matt (12:44.62) getting gold and Kevin (16:59.39) silver.

Matt Holtry

I would be remiss if I did not mention the one glitch that occurred with the W55 400m race. There were two heats, four in heat one and five in heat two. Sue McDonald was hoping to set a new AG American record, the existing record being 1:06.79. Off they go. Sue in Lane 5. She takes the lead after cutting in beyond the cones and maintains it to the end. The video shows no time elapsing. Peter Taylor, he of the amazing memory, in his red shirt, knows there is a record setting attempt and knowing the record time, keeps looking up at the result screen. 

Sue McDonald crossing finish
Peter Taylor looking for result -- he kept waiting!

NADA! No time recorded for this race. Unofficial timing (by a coach) indicated she had broken the record. .I heard later that the sound of the starting gun was apparently not picked up. The Meet officials decided to give Sue another chance if another would run with her. Sandy Triolo, who had not run in the original heats, stepped up. The race was re-run with just the two of them. Sue's time was 1:06.98, short of the record. The times listed on the results for all in the original heat are apparently estimates!

The start timing technology

Curiosity led me to look at the FinishLynx tech. I am guessing that they were using their wireless RadioLynx equipment in which the transmitter picks up the gun sound via a 3L300R Start sensor and transmits it to the receiver and into the lynx system. The transmitter and receiver can operate wirelessly up to a distance of 2km, precision advertised as greater than ± 0.4 thousandths of a second.. I could not find the sound sensitivity of the 3L300R start sensor component. Just strange that it failed only once during the meet. For those who want to research the tech here is Finishlynx info  Finish Lynx electronic start system

End of tech diversion

As it was raining, I left JDL around 3:40. It began coming down in buckets once I was on I-40. The road spray from tractor trailers was quite bad, reducing visibility substantially. I had about 40 minutes on I40-421 until the turn off for 421S where there would be less traffic. I was relieved to get off 40! However, I was not on 421 long before the car suddenly slowed then made a whirring sound as if in neutral and stepping on gas, before it resumed my travel speed. The rain was still torrential so not knowing what was going on I slowed up even more to maybe 55. This sudden loss of power with subsequent whirring must have happened at least 20 times in the hour I had left to get home. Scary because I was not sure I would get there. Ugh.

I did get home and immediately made arrangements to go pick up a rental car (as it turned out, I made it before they closed at 6) because my first event Saturday was at 8 a.m. Too early to rent a car on Saturday. I also made a car appointment for Monday at 7am at Honda. I just did not feel secure in driving back and forth to Winston-Salem for the next two days in my baby blue (Tidewater blue) 2008 Fit.

Saturday, March 2nd 60m and shot

I got to JDL in plenty of time Saturday morning. I gathered with 3 mixed age groups at the shot area. This gave me plenty of time to talk to folks I had not seen since Spokane (Outdoor) or since January SouthEast Region. Jane Simpson was snazzily dressed in red tights and plaid skirt (Barbara Warren has since given Jane the best dressed award.) Mary Robinson, Angela Staab, Christel Donley, Irene Obera, Mary Roman, Gloria Krug and Josephine Farmer (who I may have seen once before)

Christel Donly making me laugh

Gloria Krug

Wahidah Abdullah and Barbara Warren at Shot

Angela and I had practiced throwing the shot in a field near my home about two weeks earlier, when she was in town. I had seen online, and Angela also showed me, a version of the slide. I tried with back turned to throwing line (a stick) stepping way back with my right foot then sort of hopping and turning with my left and throwing. I compared this to just standing, leaning down to the side and then coming up and throwing. Some of the “slide” were longer throws, some not.
Angela Staab practicing weight throw

 So, at JDL I tried the pseudo slide on my first throw. My shortest one yet! (4.97m). I watched the others throw. Many different techniques. As we progressed through the various attempts, several gave me tips. Gloria Krug (Philadelphia Masters) reminded me I needed to be looking up as I threw. I attempted it but each time there was something I would forget until after the throw. By my third throw I had dropped the slide and reverted back to my original. Then, I began facing the circle and sort of shuffling forward to make the throw. The next to last one, Gloria nodded – I had kept my head up. Then she told me to shuffle forward more slowly, look up and throw. My last throw was my best. It beat my SE Masters January mark of 6.01 by .05m .Thank you, Gloria! Mary Robinson won the shot with 6.47m, I was second, Josephine Farmer third with 5.58m, Jane Simpson 5.17m and Angela Staab 4.92m.

Mary Robinson March 1, before her five Golds and one Silver (maybe more?)

That is the thing about the hot shots – they are so willing to help one out. I recall my third Outdoor Masters Championship in windy Michigan when Christel Donley tried to show me how to throw the javelin. It was a funny thing to see!

My 60m was not until 11:12. No intervening events so again I socialized until I went outside to warm up. Mary Smith volunteered to help me. Her flight was not until after the event. I started off by doing my usual trot around the cul de sac and up the hill and back. That winded me. So she showed me how she warms up. Shorter distances and progressively. I have been using that method since. I think it works better for me than my prior jog – run until winded and then repeat until not winded any longer.

I came back in and practiced a couple of the single block starts. So so. And then it was time. We were after the oldest combined group, which included Betty Lindberg, 94.  I saw later that she ran a 21.15. That is a healthy lady. Irene Obera, 85, having entered a new AG ran 13.76, setting a new AG USA Indoor Record (of course!) Rose Green, nursing a sore hamstring did not go all out, still coming in first in her AG in 12.20. Christel Donley also running at diminished condition, came in second at 13.86.

In my heat, Kathy Bergen was not there and Rose Green had aged up. Two swift folk less! But I had two women who have beaten me in the past, Mary Robinson and Ann Carter. Then there was Barbara Hensley who had Mary and me in her sights, having been converted from speed walking to sprints. Jane Simpson may surprise one day if she cuts back on the many events she competes in and concentrates on sprints. Other than trying to improve my start, I have no strategy other than to go as fast as I can. I was sticking with using one block, pushing off with right foot. Jane was in lane 2, Ann lane 3, Barbara lane 4, me lane 5 and Mary lane 6.

photo by Rick Pack. 60m lineup

I don't recall much about my start which means I don't recall bobbling, so that is good. I ran as hard as I could but Mary was right next to me and pulled ahead before the finish. Now, I have heard two stories about my finish – Rose Green thought I was looking at Mary's shoes and Terry Ozell thought I looked over at Mary before the finish. Oy! I don't recall either. I sometimes look down when I am running but I never look to see where any one else is. I have looked and looked at the video and it does seem as if I am looking to the right but I can't be sure if I had crossed the Finish line before looking at Mary. Rob D'Avellar took a photo of the finish and it seems I am already laughing (which I do, if I can still breathe, when racing with Mary.) Nonetheless, it was Mary at 11.65 and me at 11.77 (I like the way Peter called it – 12/100th of a second. Sounds better than my interpretation of a tenth of a second,) Barbara 12.28, Ann 13.29 and Jane 14.28.

photo by Rob D'Avellar 60m Finish

I was done for the day but stayed to watch some other events. I saw Becky's 60m from the a bad angle as I was walking back. She was in a field of eight. It was hard to tell who had won but I heard, then saw, a video later. Linda Wilson from Texas came in first at 8.89 (2/100th off of American record, according to Peter) to Becky's 9.25. Amanda Scotti (under the weather with pneumonia-like symptoms) third in 9.59. One lady, Dianna Hinton, apparently pulled a muscle and sort of hobbled to the finish.

In the W70, Cynthia Marcelais, ATC, won the 60m in 10.87.

Our new Pacer Bryan Guido Hassin ran the 60m prelim with some hot shots, like Antoine Echols, 38, US Army, who went on to win the Final in 6.88. Rondrick Parker (Southwest Sprinters) came in second in the Finals at 6.99. Fast men..

The race that surprised me was that of the 80-84 men in the 60m. Bob Lida, 82, a marvelous sprinter, who has set many records was running in a field of five, I was not familiar with the other four men in his heat. Lida was the tallest of the competitors. (In subsequent video watching, it seemed Lida very slightly limped, or favors one side, walking back to the blocks after a stride out. Only two of the men used blocks – Lida and Bittner. Shockingly, William Bittner, Philadelphia Masters, seemed to take control about half way, winning 9.56 to Lida's 9.74. Only 2/10th of a second difference but it seemed so much more when watching from the stands because it was so unexpected.

Angela Staab had signed up for the mile run, despite the tendon issue, just so she could see what she could do. She looked good trotting it, despite the 16 curves she had to run. In the last bunch of laps, she did not the curves (giving the tendon a break) but continued her pace, finishing in a good time of 12:25.48. Kathy Jacobs, another Piedmont Pacer, in 65-69 AG, also did the mile coming in at 9:13.70 (Cynthia Lucking, ATC, won the AG in 7:25.65) Betty Lindberg, the 94 year old from ATC, also did the mile in 15:15.58.

Ryan Pack, a new Piedmont Pacer competed in the shot put, not having done so since college. She competed with two others in AG 30-39 and lo and behold – she won Gold , her last shot being her best (8.12m), though she led from the start.

Sunday, March 3rd

I was happy that for me this was a later start to the day. I had the 200m followed by the weight and then the super weight throw. This was good because I did not have to worry about a field event delaying my warm up. I arrived too late to see fellow Pacer Angela Staab win her 800m (5:37.55) or Bryan Guido Hassin run his 200m prelim (29.25), and I was just coming back inside from warming up when Rick Pack ran his 800m in 2:21.27 to get third! I was queued up for my 200m when Jeanne Daprano (having come off a World Indoor Master K Lightweight Rowing Championship win, a week earlier) and Lynne Hurrell competed in the 800m. Lynne edged Jeanne 4:38.14 to 4:38.22

The 200m. I was in lane 6, I could see no one. Ugh. That meant I had to judge what pace to go. Barbara Hensley in lane 5, Angela Staab in lane 4, Mary Robinson in lane 3, Jane Simpson in lane 2 Catherine Radle in lane 1..There were no blocks (pourquoi?) so we were all in a standing start. Bang, off we go. With vivid memories of my Spokane 400m burnout, I hesitated to go too fast. On the back end I knew Mary would be coming up on me but still held back a little. Just before we went into the turn there she was, ahead. Peter had indicated she had the lead, but I still held back until coming out of the turn (again afraid I would lock up). But then I went all out trying to close the gap. I couldn't. Mary won 42.69 to my 42.86, with Barbara Hensley third in 45.42. So, a tactical error brought on by basically fear of a disastrous failure! Aargh. I noticed a few things in reviewing the video – Mary has a great high knee stride making for longer steps whereas I have the choppy short steps. However, in looking at the video, I saw the same thing as in the 60m – I tend to look down and to the right when I try to go all out. No one was on my right, so I am not looking at a person. This is an odd habit that must be broken!

photo by Anne Sluder. Robinson, lg, Staab, Simpson, Hensley, Radle

Becky Bowman won her 200m handily in 31.46, making her now both Indoor and Outdoor National champion. She and Joy's Jackrabbits TC had previously run the 4x200 in AG 55-59 setting a new Club Indoor American record. (2:04.55)

This was the second Meet in which I did the weight throw and the first in which I did a super weight throw. The weight for my AG is 4kg (8.8 lbs) and the super weight 7.26kg (16lbs.) Right off the bat in the weight throw during the practice the official warned me that I was doing it wrong – i.e. I must maintain both hands on the handle, such that it is a push as opposed to a let my arm swing out and release. Oy! I had chosen to face left so that I could release with my stronger arm, the right. Well, this messed me up since now my weaker arm would essentially be controlling things. Ugh. My first throw was a bust because, standing so close to the rim, my heel touched as I threw and therefore a foul! Good start. My third throw turned out to be my best (6.78m). Mary Robinson had the best throw – 8.05m – with Angela Staab throwing 6.81m earning second and I got third. Mary Roman, 83, alone in her AG threw 8:07m, and Gloria Krug 87 (soon to be 88) also alone in her AG, threw 6.85m

I was worried that I might drop the super weight on my foot. I didn't and it was not as bad as I had anticipated. My best throw was my fourth, 4.39m, earning me fourth place. Mary Robinson was first with 6.24m, Angela Staab second with 4.48m, and Jane Simpson, oh, so close to Angela with 4.48m . Based upon USATF Rule 180.18, the second best performance in a tie determines the winner of the tie. Angela's second best was 4.43 m to Jane's 4.40m.

Nicole Kelly in the 35-39 AG, throwing a heavier weight (9.080kg – 20lbs) 7.34m, got third. And third in the super weight (25.4 kg – 56 lbs.) throwing 5.00m.

Sandy Triolo's Athena TC also set a new 50-54 Indoor American record in the 4x200, running 2:03.06.

The Piedmont Pacer men (Matt Holtry, Bryan Guido Hassin, Kevin Gobble, and Rick Pack) AG 36-39 ran both the 4x200, 1:56.20, and 4x800 relays, 10:47.92, earning third in the 4x800. This was Saturday. On Sunday, the same men ran the 4x400 relay, coning in second (4:21.38)

Bryan Hassin, Matt Holtry, Rick Pack, Jr. and Kevin Gobble Relay hogs
Before I left, I saw Toccata Murphy, there to cheer on her teammates.  She will be at NCCWMA.  Yea!

Throughout the Meet, Barbara Warren competed in multiple events, too numerous to enumerate. Shot silver, long jump silver 60m fourth, high jump gold, triple jump, weight and super weight silvers, 200m bronze and pentathlon gold plus three other golds. I would have a breakdown trying to handle so many events besides the fact that my knees prohibit all those jumping events and the 800m is a nope!

This morning, I went to NCSU track (that I discovered, AFTER the Meet, was open to the public during the weekdays – hurrah!) When I did some speed work, I discovered that, yes, I turn my head to the right and look down! Arrgh! Looking down is not new but the twist to the right, well maybe it has been there all along but I was unaware of it. So, the last one I did I concentrated on head up and looking straight ahead. I obviously need to work on that.


Rickey said...

I enjoyed the writing and love your accomplishments. Wishing you a safer vehicle and less head-turning.

Anonymous said...

You're the greatest, Louise. You do a wonderful job telling us what happened, and I certainly appreciate that. Oh, I talked to Bob Lida for a short time; he had some physical problem that was hurting his performance. In other words, he should have done better. Charles Allie and Bob Lida -- unbelievable sprinters. For the women the two would be Irene Obera and Kathy Bergen. Irene, as things turned out, was hampered by some sort of injury.